Letters to the Editor

Malled to death

Never before have I read such douchebaggery as "The Full MOA" (11/28/07). The numerous more-than-slightly racist attempts at humor almost made me fall off my chair. That, plus the fact that making fun of the Mall of America is about as fresh and relevant as the Y2K crisis, makes me cringe in shame. I mourn to think that my Twin Cities hipster brethren would be amused by this article.

Ariel Dumas Minneapolis

Marriage of inconvenience

We appreciate Jeff Severns Guntzel's coverage of the marriage-license issue ("Wedding Crashers," 11/21/07), and think that by and large the article is well done. But as ministers of three of the congregations described in that article, we think that a few clarifications are in order.

It is not the case that our churches "refuse to marry straight couples," are "not participating in marriage at all," or have "approved a ban on legal marriage." We do marry and bless straight couples in religious ceremonies, just as we marry and bless gay and lesbian couples. Our religious convictions are that God's blessing is available to straight and gay couples equally—no more, no less. It is the question of signing a state-issued legal document that values one kind of marriage over another that is the issue.

Our congregations are not anti-marriage. What we are is anti-discrimination.

Eric Nelson, First Congregational Church of Minnesota UCC, Minneapolis

Sarah Campbell, Mayflower Community Congregational UCC, Minneapolis

Don Portwood, Lyndale United Church of Christ, Minneapolis

Behind the veil

This letter pertains to the article in your issue dated November 21, 2007, subtitled, "Local Churches protest same-sex marriage ban by refusing to marry straight couples."

I commend you for bringing attention to a very important issue in our society today: How to apply fair and equal treatment to all adults who would like to become married? Your article indicates that many persons believe that current laws in the state of Minnesota discriminate against gay and lesbian persons who want to marry. I am among those who share that belief. Your article further indicates that multiple churches have taken actions to alleviate this discrimination against gay and lesbian persons, including Mayflower Community Congregational Church and United Church of Christ.

Relative to the policy adopted by Mayflower Church in May 2006, your article is seriously in error in alleging that Mayflower is "refusing to marry straight couples." Two sentences in the policy adopted by Mayflower Church in May 2006 are: "Therefore, marriage services will continue to be held at Mayflower church without discrimination and according to the Mayflower Wedding Policy.... We will continue to perform religious marriages, for all couples, regardless of gender." I urge you to publish a correction to the erroneous subtitle as it pertains to Mayflower Church.

Another mistake in your article regarding Mayflower Church is the statement that Jim Anderson was one of two votes against the resolution. Though I do not know the official vote count, my wife and I also both voted against the resolution; that makes a total of at least three "no" votes. We voted against the resolution, not because it was advocating fair and equal treatment regarding weddings for all couples, but because it created an unwelcoming environment for heterosexual couples who would like to become married at Mayflower Church. In our judgment, the Mayflower policy created that unwelcoming environment by prohibiting any person from signing the state wedding certificate on church property. Consequently, heterosexual couples would have to incur significant additional expense and inconvenience to accomplish that step if they chose to have their wedding ceremony at Mayflower Church.

In closing, I would ask you to publish the correction noted above, and, again, I thank you for addressing this important issue of marriage rights. I hope your article stimulates discussion and follow-through actions to eliminate existing discriminatory practices against weddings for gay and lesbian persons and to create a warm welcome for all who desire to become married.

Jim Benshoof Crystal

Walsh that band right out of your hair

I see columnist Jim Walsh persists in exalting the awful music of the early '80s ("The Shouting's Over, Too," 11/14). Here he glorifies a band that admittedly made it as far as "semi-obscurity." That's not saying much, especially for an '80s band. Walsh is a latter-day baby boomer whose musical upbringing must have included elements from the British invasion, psychedelic rock, folk, and progressive rock, yet he only gives lip service to the aforementioned genres and elevates punk-like bands and their music to sacred heights. Baffling, isn't it, when you consider what makes music so lovely: composition, melody, harmony, color. Punk-like bands and their music are devoid of color and reckless in composition and form, which, I guess, explains their appeal for some. But to extol the art form(?) of punk music ad nauseam begs the question: Walsh might find more of a following overseas; perhaps London's calling?

Jon Wiersma St. Paul

Enough about the Replacements!

Now that a book has been written, book signings have happened, a tribute rock show has occurred, and the Replacements have been featured on the cover of every local publication 20-odd years after the band even existed, can we please stop seeing articles and tidbits about the band? I am so very tired of reading references to "the 'Mats," and I wish that some writers and music fans would move on and let the '80s-music past rest in peace.

Christine Hafner Minneapolis

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